Cansino, Prado share UAAP Player of the Week award
MANILA, Philippines – CJ Cansino has yet to attain his top form, but he is nonetheless going all-out in leading the UST Growling Tigers in their quest to return to the playoffs of UAAP Season 82.
After a slow start to the season as he continues to recover from his ACL injury, Cansino is picking up steam at the right time and is well on his way to reclaiming a place as one of the brightest young stars in the UAAP.
The same sort of determination to get back to the semifinals is much evident for Mar Prado of the Adamson Lady Falcons.
In fact, in a crucial contest wherein the Lady Falcons were out to strengthen their stranglehold on the No. 3 seed, she exploded for a career-best 40 points to go along with 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals, and 1 block.
"'Di siya nagbuwakaw para makuha 'yung 40 points niya," said coach Ewon Arayi of Prado's scoring outburst that got the most important statistic of all – an Adamson win over UP. "Dinala pa rin niya 'yung team."
(She didn't need to be selfish just to score 40 points. She carried the team.)
All the while, the 23-year-old did it in style, going 17-of-36 from the field en route to joining an elite club of only 4 lady ballers to reach the 40-point mark.
Without a doubt, both Prado and Cansino want nothing more than to help their teams keep playing until the next round, making them the deserving co-winners of the Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Press Corps Players of the Week.
The Lady Falcons' top gun is only the third women's player to receive the recognition decided upon by print and online scribes covering the beat – following National University's Ria Nabalan and UP's Pat Pesquera.
For his part, this is Cansino's third taste of the weekly plum – the two he got from his super rookie season.
His rookie season, though, ended earlier than expected as his left knee injury forced him to miss UST's last game and recover for 9 months.
Cleared only a month before the new season, Cansino struggled in the early going, averaging 4.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and less than 1 steal in their first 10 games.
"Sobra akong na-frustrate noon kasi akala ko nagawa ko na lahat, akala ko kumpleto na ako," he shared. "Sabi ko nga before the season, 100% na ako, pero noong lumabas sa laro, hindi pa pala."
(I was really frustrated at the start because I thought I did everything, I thought I was already complete. I said I was already 100% before the season, but it turned out I wasn't.)
In the Growling Tigers' back-to-back wins in the last week, however, Cansino reminded everybody why he was named team captain as a sophomore with norms of 13.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 2.0 steals.
"Naging learning process sa akin 'yun na wag mag-stop kahit feeling mong kumportable ka na," said the 19-year-old about getting over his personal hump. "Make yourself feel uncomfortable every time para mag-work hard ka palagi."
(It became a learning process for me not to stop even when you're already feeling comfortable with yourself. Make yourself feel uncomfortable every time so you'll always work hard.)
Indeed, with hard work and dedication, Cansino and Prado made history together – becoming only the third co-Players of the Week in the history of the collegiate ranks alongside Nabalan and Ateneo's Ange Kouame in the UAAP, as well as San Beda's Robert Bolick and Letran's Bong Quinto in the NCAA.
The co-Players of the Week edged out L-Jay Gonzales of FEU, Jun Manzo of UP, and Isaac Go of Ateneo for the recognition. – Rappler.com